Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Jumbled Mass of Ideas

Some days, posting is easy. A really exciting topic presents itself, a funny thing happened on the way to the pool/running trail/bike route, or some motivational tidbit begs to be shared. And on some days, those thoughts coalesce into an entry that others find truly exceptional.

And then, there are days like today. The ideas are there. What's missing is the words needed to share the ideas. It's a "type three words, delete four others" kind of thing.

Perhaps the best way to start is a quick training recap. Monday was a 2500 yard swim that went quite well. I really need to talk with the author of my training plan and discuss scheduling a 2500 yard swim during the week. That's at the outer limit of my abilities, since I really need to be out of the pool by 6 a.m. to get to work on time. By the time I get into the pool, I usually have about 45-50 minutes to swim. Averaging about 2:30/100yds makes a 2500 swim an hour long affair. Tough to accomplish in 50 minutes. It might just be motivation to swim faster. (By way of explanation, I am the author of my training program)

Today was another bit of brilliant planning. A 10 mile run, with an alarm clock set for 4:30 a.m. This left me in the same sort of situation. Assuming 9 minute miles, getting dressed, equipped, out the door, and finishing a 10 mile run before 6 a.m. would prove difficult. So, a quick bit of math got me to the conclusion that I really needed to run 8 minute miles. Shaving a minute a mile off a mid-week sort of long run is a bit of a stretch, so I split the difference, running 8m 30s miles. That got me home a bit late, but not too late.

The run was a good opportunity to think, as my MP3 player picked this morning as a good time to have a dead battery. I always find it amazing what kind of thoughts wander through my brain during mid to long runs alone. Here's a bit of what goes on inside my head:

- The Olympic tri is only three weeks away, and it's time to verify arrangements for Veeg while she's in town. Note to self-call to make sure friend is still okay with Veeg staying there.

- Does Veeg say her name with a hard G (Veeguh), with a Gee sound, (VeeGee), or with a J sound (Veedge)?

- How does Ironman performance compare to Olympic distance performance? How much faster in each discipline will Sarah Reinertsen be, and do I stand a chance of keeping up with her?

- What are the odds that on a single early morning run I would see three separate incidents involving the police, including a CSU truck?

- If the accomodations pre-arranged for Veeg fall through, will it bother her to stay in a house with two small children. She could stay in the basement, away from the noise. Wait, she has kids, so they likely wouldn't bother her, anyway. But she could still stay in the basement, furthest from any noise.

- I should blog about all the random thoughts I have when not wearing my MP3 player. What all have I thought about?

- Do MP3 players inhibit thought?

Of course, I left out the constant math that is going on in the midst of these thoughts. There is pretty much a constant barrage of calculations that occur while I run. They are attempts at determining various things such as average pace, pace needed to achieve a given overall average, pace needed to get home when I need to get home, etc. While many people warn against wearing MP3 players while running, I save my warnings for this. My MP3 player has rarely caused any problems. On the other hand, if I'm in the midst of doing some grand and complex calculation in my head, it's entirely possible for me to miss turns, run into things on the sidewalk, and completely ignore everything going on around me.

Tomorrow, it's back to the pool. Perhaps a good soaking will pry loose some golden nugget of blog wisdom. If you made it this far, thanks for sticking with me. Sometimes, it's scary being in my head.


Mister P. said...

I'm a big math-guy when I'm running as well. The course I train on doesn't have good milestones, so I'm doing pace calculation at the 2.7 mile mark at 4.3, 5.2, etc. I can never get it right on the first try, but at least it gives me something to do.

When I did my marathon, my brain got fried and I couldn't do any math at all. I remember thinking things like "OK, I have 5 miles to go, if I did 10 minute miles my final finishing time will be... 14 and a half hours. No that can't be right." But I just couldn't figure it out.

TriBoomer said...


Hang in there. Writing inspiration can be a fickle thing as it comes and goes.

Thanks for your encouraging words in you last comment on my blog. I used them in my latest post.

Veeg said...

Veeg = "Veedge" = short for V.G. = short for "Volcano Girl." :)

Thanks so much for being willing to arrange lodging for me, but we are set for a place to stay -- we have good friends who live in Neenah.

I would love to hook up for dinner, though. You can reach me at

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